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Tips for co-parenting during the school year after a divorce

Kids throughout Virginia are getting ready for the new school year. For parents that are divorced, however, preparing their child for school involves more than simply buying new shoes and school supplies. They will need to make sure that their child custody and visitation schedule is workable during the school year, and that they and their ex are on the same page when it comes to their child’s education. The following are some tips on co-parenting during the school year.

These days, most schools have websites where parents can check their child’s grades, attendance and other information. Divorced parents should make sure they can access this information. If it is not possible for each parent to have their own login, then the parent with the login access should give the access information to the other parent so they both can view this information directly.

Similarly, parents should make sure their child’s teacher has each of their phone numbers and email addresses, so they each can each communicate with the teacher. If parents are on good terms, they can go to parent-teacher conferences together. If only one parent is sending the teacher an email, the other parent should be copied on that email.

A shared calendar can also help parents coordinate homework, extracurricular activities and other information about the child’s day-to-day school needs. Parents should also let each other know if the child misses school due to an illness, and whether the child will have extra homework to make up for the absence. If a child has a project to complete at home, parents should be in agreement on who will lead the project.

Finally, parents should review their parenting plan. A child custody and visitation schedule that worked when their child was in kindergarten may no longer work when that child reaches middle or high school. By working out any kinks in the plan in advance, and pursuing legal modifications if necessary, it can make the transition back to school easier on all.

The start of a new school year is exciting, but for children whose parents are divorced it may also be stressful. Parents need to put their differences aside and act in the best interests of the child when it comes to their child’s education. When parents are cordial and organized they can set their child up for success in school.

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